Upper Peninsula Tech Startup Wins $10K In A National Virtual Pitch Competition For Research On Aerospace Technology

We are thrilled to announce that a local tech startup company, Kall Morris Inc (KMI), represented Marquette in an online pitch competition where rural, startup founders competed for a grand prize of $10,000! KMI was founded by three Northern Michigan University graduates that met as students and were inspired to become entrepreneurs during their time in Marquette. It is exciting to know that more people around the country are being exposed to our great Upper Peninsula, and more specifically, the knowledge, business, and tech economy that has been building over the last decade. Much of this exposure is in part of the work and collaboration of local, state, and national economic development professionals.


Kall Morris Inc aims to be the first company with a product for collecting debris in orbit, yes, that means in space. Debris is a term used to describe an orbital object that is unable to perform its function in space. The danger of “space debris” is that it can create potential collisions with other objects in orbit. On average, there are debris collisions every year and this event is becoming more frequent. Besides collisions, regular activities in space generate debris, which when combined with the wreckage from collision events, results in an average of over 1,500 new trackable pieces of debris each year. KMI ‘s focus is to minimize the threat posed to technology in orbit.

“Our team is thankful for the opportunity to share our small town innovation for helping the whole world, and appreciate the recognition of entrepreneurial effort across rural America. KMI is proud to be selected and recognized for the hard work of the entire team.”

– Troy Morris, Co-Founder & Director of Operations

The company is founded by 3 amazing leaders: Adam Kall, Austin Morris, and Troy Morris. Fun fact: Austin Morris is an Invent@NMU alum. To hear a little more about his experience with Invent@NMU as a Mechanical Engineer, click here.


The virtual pitch was organized by the Center on Rural Innovation (CORI) and their sister organization, Rural Innovation Strategies, Inc. (RISI). CORI supports scalable entrepreneurship and tech job creation through digital economy ecosystems and RISI uses data-driven strategies, leading-edge geospatial tools, and digital economy expertise to help their work in pursuit of rural equity and opportunity. To understand a little more about our relationship with CORI and RISI, feel free to take a look at this article.

Ten startups participated in the competition, spanning a variety of business sectors and industries that hailed from one of the 25 communities served by the Rural Innovation Network. Each received technical assistance and network support. Kall Morris Inc WON the competition and was able to represent Marquette & the greater Upper Peninsula!


If you are wondering how you as a part of our community can support KMI and other tech startups in the Upper Peninsula, you can follow and share their story as well as keep up with Michigan’s growing tech and aerospace. Did you know Michigan has a growing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education sector? It’s a statewide program that matches students attending Michigan colleges and universities with internship opportunities at the state’s leading innovative companies. Michigan SmartZones are at the forefront of developing jobs and community education in the STEM fields. Stay up to date with what’s happening here in Marquette and the greater U.P. by following our social channels, subscribing to our newsletter or attending one of our events in the future.